Author: Singapore's Budget Babe

Is Cord Blood Banking Necessary?

Becoming first-time parents sure comes with lots of stuff (and costs) to think about. One of the key concerns we had was whether we ought to store our baby’s cord blood – our gynae and relatives were for it, but the sentiments online were mixed. We’ve always heard that storing a baby’s cord blood was expensive, but when we enquired, the costs were honestly much lower than what we expected. At just $5,000+ to store our baby’s cord blood for 21 years, that works out to be less than $20 a month – even lesser than what we pay for (financial)...

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Save Money by Getting These Baby Must-Haves from Taobao!

It is no secret that I’m a huge Taobao fan – after all, I’m that bride who saved tons of money by purchasing my wedding stuffs on Taobao, including my customized wedding gown! I’ve written about my Taobao wedding purchases here and here previously, and have been using SGShop for my purchases since 2016. Well, with all the upcoming baby expenses, I’ve also been shopping around diligently and doing lots of window shopping at Mothercare and Kiddy Palace, among other shops, to compare prices and quality. What I’ve discovered is that many of the items sold locally are priced at a premium, and...

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Dr Wealth: Factor-Based Investing Course (FBIC) Review

What I like about Dr Wealth’s courses are that they delve a lot into academic research and market backtesting of strategies before they basically come up with their own formulas which you cannot learn from any investment book outside. I was recently invited to attend their revamped Factor-Based Investing Course (FBIC) and found it really helpful because whether you’re more inclined towards value investing, dividend or income investing, or trend following (through technical analysis), you’ll learn all of that within this single course. Here’s how their results have been like so far: What’s their secret?!?! That was exactly what...

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Is Home Insurance Really Necessary?

Considering how you already have to pay for your mandatory HDB fire insurance (or even a mortgage fire insurance as well, for those of you on a bank loan), do we really need to still get home insurance? Many people mistakenly believe their house is completely covered for, but the truth is far from it. HDB fire insurance only covers for damages to core structures provided by HDB (eg. beam collapse, walls or flooring), whereas your bank’s mortgage fire insurance mainly protects your bank’s financial interest and not yours. What that means is that in the event that your house (the...

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IPO Analysis: Is the Nikko AM SGD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF worth subscribing?

I’ve not been the biggest fan of corporate bonds because (i) I’m not always convinced about the reasons given by the company for the need to raise money from retail investors (ii) there’s too many horror stories like Hyflux and Aspial and (iii) too many retail investors seem to be drawn to the juicy yield payouts without properly evaluating the underlying financial health of the company. However, the latest Nikko AM SGD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF might just be another decent investment tool (and far more superior than any previous corporate bonds such as the ones named above) for those...

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Is it Worth Joining A Co-Operative?

In a previous post, I wrote about what credit co-operatives (co-ops) do and the important role they play in society. I’ve also received some questions from readers as to whether it is worth joining a co-operative in Singapore, especially if they qualify for one. After looking through all the benefits, I’m convinced that being a member of a co-op has its benefits and privileges. Just to name a few of these benefits: Gaining access to a wide range of affordable products and services Financial solutions at reasonable interest rates (no need to resort to unlicensed moneylenders, please!) Educational scholarships and...

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10 Days in London – Itinerary and Expenses

So we headed to London for our babymoon to spend some time together before our little one arrives, and here’s our itinerary. It wasn’t particularly “budget” this time, because it is quite hard to be fully on a budget when you’re pregnant and in an expensive city like London (at time of writing and travelling, the exchange rate was 1.8x of ours), although we did opt for a budget flight and stayed in an Airbnb room to save on costs. Nonetheless, quite a few of you have requested for my itinerary and expenses, so here’s what went on while...

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What Are The Top 5 Insurance Plans That You Should Get For Your Child?

For those of you who know me, it is no secret that I am a big advocate of insurance. In fact, I see it as a non-negotiable purchase in our lives, and would rather spend on this than any branded goods anytime. I believe so strongly in insurance that I’ve written quite extensively on this topic, including: important questions to ask your insurance agent (aka how to sieve out the bad eggs) your guide to hospitalisation insurance (aka Integrated Shield Plans) in Singapore should you buy hospitalisation insurance when you’re already covered by MediShield Life and your employer? (answer...

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Workplace Discrimination Against Pregnant Mothers in Singapore Is More Real Than You Think

When I first found out about my pregnancy, my two biggest fears were that of (i) losing my child due to a miscarriage and (ii) being discriminated against at work. Image source For all the talk on gender equality in Singapore, I’ll be honest and tell you that women, especially pregnant mothers, really do get it worse. Of course, there are some great workplaces, but there are also plenty of companies that aren’t that supportive of pregnant workers.I personally did not announce my pregnancy until I was safely in the second trimester because I wanted to make sure my...

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Saving Money and Getting Loans from Credit Co-operatives (Are they better than banks?)

What is a credit co-operative? Unless you’re in one, most Singaporeans do not know of them nor the important role they play in society. More importantly, you may not be aware that there are plenty of benefits you can get from being a member of a credit co-op. Co-ops are basically regulated social enterprises. They are organised on a voluntary basis, democratically controlled and member-owned, to achieve the common social or economic aim that benefits their members and/or society at large. In fact, co-ops are founded on values of self-help, mutual assistance, equality, care for community and co-operation. As...

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IPO Analysis: Is Astrea IV Private Equity Class A-1 bond worth a BUY?

Astrea IV Class A-1 bonds are the talk of the town right now, and I’ve received so many DMs about this so I’m finally sitting down to evaluate and write this. Details: – The bond is launched by Astrea IV Pte. Ltd, which is an indirect subsidiary of Temasek – 4.35% interest rate offered – IPO applications close at 12 noon on 12 June 2018 – You can apply through ATM or online banking via DBS, POSB, OCBC or UOB – Minimum subscription amount: S$2,000 – You CANNOT use your CPF or SRS funds to apply for this bond....

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Has Obike taken your $49 deposit without informing you?

If you’ve ever used Obike before, open your app and check NOW. Because the chances are, your $49 deposit is probably gone. There’s a high probability that Obike has sneakily, without your consent, taken your $49 deposit to purchase their “Super VIP plan” for 1095 days. According to a reader of mine, X, who tipped me off about this, this happened to her earlier this year in April…and she only discovered it today, two months later. Mind you, there was no notification to inform her that her deposit was gone. A quick glance at Facebook and Reddit shows that...

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Save money when transferring abroad – Review of TransferWise

Did you know about these hidden costs in money transfers?  75% of Singaporeans don’t understand the true cost of sending money overseas – which includes both upfront fees and an exchange rate markup. If you’ve ever transferred money abroad, you’d be familiar with how the money that’s received on the other end is usually much lesser than you thought it’ll be. I first experienced this when I had to make USD transfers for my crypto transactions and trades last year. There were so many hidden costs, to which I mostly attribute to: (i)            a higher exchange rate charged by...

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Should I Buy Maternity Insurance When I’m Pregnant?

The latest and most comprehensive list of maternity insurance plans offered in Singapore (2018 edition). I compared between the 7 plans that I considered during my pregnancy term and spoke to 4 insurance agents to get the full quotes illustrated below. As most of you guys know, I’ve always been an advocate of buying insurance (after all, it is named as a core tenet under my Guide to Financial Independence tab here), so when I got pregnant, one of the first things I naturally thought about was whether I needed to get maternity insurance. Photo Credit What Is Maternity...

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Too Good To Be True? Another Unregulated Investment Promoted By Instagram Influencer Joycelyn Quek

Just last month, I uncovered this investment that was making its rounds on Instagram, after being promoted by local social media influencer Rachell Tan (@pxdkitty) and even her friend Ang Chiew Ting (@bongqiuqiu) who had invested into it, while sharing why I found it so questionable. Well, guess what? Here’s another one again. And while the durian investments saga previously only required a minimum of $1k+ to get started, this particular one is asking for a minimum of USD 10k! Let me ask you again, why would you put so much of your hard-earned money with someone on Instagram whom...

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